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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified [Download]

Platform : Windows Vista, Windows 7
Rated: Mature
83 customer reviews
Metascore: 66 / 100

Price: $19.99
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Download size: 2.16 KB
Download time: 1 minute on broadband, 1 minute on dial-up
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Product Description

Platform: PC Download

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified:

The year is 1962. JFK is President and the Cold War has the nation gripped by fear – but a far more powerful and insidious enemy than communism is threatening America. Known only to a select few, a top-secret government unit called The Bureau begins investigating and concealing a series of mysterious attacks by an otherworldly enemy. As special agent William Carter, call the shots, pull the trigger and lead your squad in a gripping third-person tactical shooter set within a high-stakes, covert war to defend humanity. The Bureau’s mission is clear – survive, adapt and overcome the enemy threat to protect the citizens from the truth. 

System Requirements:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Supported OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit   
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Hard Disk: 12 GB
  • Video Card: Compatible ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT / 512 MB VRAM
  • Additional Requirements: Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Recommended Requirements:

  • Supported OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit   
  • Processor: Quad Core Processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Hard Disk: 12 GB
  • Video Card: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 6950/NVIDIA GeFore GTX 560 with 1024 MB
  • Additional Requirements: Sound: DirectX Compatible
  • NOTE: Incompatible with Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics

Steam account required for game activation and installation

The Bureau: XCOM® Declassified™

© 2008-2013 Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Developed by 2K Marin. XCOM, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, 2K Marin, 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive Software and their respective logos are all trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Q&A with...

  • Creative Director - Morgan Gray
  • Art Director – Jeff Weir
  • Audio Director – Michael Kamper
  • 1. What was your inspiration for this drastic new departure from traditional XCOM gameplay?

    The major inspiration was to move away from the player conducting combat operations removed from the squad (either feeling like a commander watching the action via live feed from a predator drone, or looking at combat read outs from relative safety) and explore what it would feel like to be a battlefield commander, out in the field, with the team, having to make life or death decisions under fire. It is that aspect of the XCOM universe that we wanted to explore, and offer to the fans. – Morgan Gray

    2. Are they trying to maintain similar themes (Enemy Unknown had a very high-tech feel)?

    What we share in common with all XCOM games is our emphasis on gameplay focused on smart tactical team work against a technologically and numerically superior foe. We also focus on the concept of starting off with real world conditions (in our case in the 60s) and through the course of the game gaining access to higher tech, more amazing tools/gear/weapons so that at the end of the game, not only is the player victorious over the aliens, but XCOM itself has grown to be on par with them in terms of technology. We are hi-tech, but in an Apollo13/Right Stuff kind of way as we are a period story. – Morgan Gray

    3. Have they had to make adjustments for the change in era?

    When the story of the game shifted from the 1950s to the early 1960s, it opened up a lot of opportunities to illustrate the incredible technology and aesthetics of that era. The US was left with its pants down with the launch of Sputnik in the late 50s. By 1962, the space race in the US was reaching a fever pitch. Innovation and technology development was moving at a phenomenal rate. We wanted to bring some that amazing technology and vibe to The Bureau. The XCOM base itself was heavily influenced by the Mercury era NASA space program – evidenced most in the huge screen and rows of period computers in XCOM Operations. We also fashioned vehicles and flight gear off of what was seen in the Skunk Works test pilot program.

    On the civilian side of things, offices took on the sleek, straight lined look of the 60s popularized in the television show Mad Man. Out in the world, we pushed the look from the curves of the 50s to the straight lines and geometric forms evidenced by the mid-century modern Googie movement. The affected everything from vehicles to buildings and signage. The overall feel produced a feeling that was much more space age and overall much more befitting an XCOM game. – Jeff Weir

    4. What makes the XCOM art style unique?

    There are two primary visual themes that set The Bureau apart. First and foremost, it’s the period. The 1960s vibe sets the tone from the get-go. Whether it is William Carter’s sleek suit and dapper fedora or the clouds of smoke pooling in the air above the mid-century modernists sets, it’s very clear this is not a modern era game. The second big standout is the high contrast juxtaposition of 1960s period America butted up against ultra-advanced alien facilities of the invading Outsider war machine. It’s a stunning mix of the old and new, the familiar and the strange. It’s that retro vibe set against futurism that makes the look and tone of the Bureau stand out. – Jeff Weir

    5. Will the music in the new game be created by the same composer as Enemy Unknown?

    No, but from the beginning, I wanted the music of The Bureau to match the era and vibe we were trying to establish with the art and narrative. I wanted it to have that 60’s FBI gangbusters feel since that is essentially the kind of people that you are playing, interacting with, and leading into battle. But I also wanted the score to be akin to the sci-fi films of the 50s and 60s. The two movie scores that really fit what I was looking for were both by the great film composer Jerry Goldsmith. The first was for the 1950’s based L.A. Confidential and the other was the original 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. Given the style of these two scores, I knew what I wanted was right in the wheel-house of Garry Schyman who had done such an excellent job on the Bioshock games. Garry and I worked out the main themes for the score and then Garry delivered an incredible score for us. He produced almost 80 minutes of music for The Bureau which was recorded at the Clint Eastwood stage on the Warner Brothers lot in Hollywood. I feel the score really gives The Bureau a unique identity and I feel it really sets the tone of the world that we are trying to have the player experience. – Michael Kamper, Audio Director.

    System Requirements:
    Processor:  none specified
    RAM:  none specified
    Hard Disk:  none specified

    Product Details

    Platform: PC Download
    • Note: Gifting is not available for this item.
    • ASIN: B00DYBBE1Q
    • Release Date: August 16, 2013
    • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,209 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
    • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

    Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Raoul Ortega on August 21, 2013
    Platform for Display: PC Download
    I imagine that's exactly how this game came to be. 2K games was in the maternity ward, Firaxis Games at her side, both awaiting the arrival of their second XCOM child. "It's Beautiful," said 2K as she passed the child to Firaxis for inspection... but then.... then Firaxis started noticing that the child looked a lot like Mass Effect. "It's in your head," 2K repeatedly assured him. But he couldn't shake it, and eventually 2K sobbingly confessed to one night... a drunken mistake with Mass Effect. "I want no part in it!" screamed Firaxis as he stormed out of 2K's life. Alas, what's bad for Firaxis and 2K's overly-contrived-metaphorical marriage isn't necessarily bad for us.

    The Good:

    Gameplay: I suspect this will probably be high on a lot of people's "Bad" list, but I rather enjoyed it. It's nowhere near a normal XCOM game, so if that's what you're after you should probably pass this up. Rather, this plays very much like mass effect. It's a third-person tactical shooter. Like mass effect you use the same button to sprint and take cover, you can pause game to issue commands (not pause really, but ultra slow motion) to your squad and you have conversation decision points to help get information and drive dialog. Your squad doesn't seem to use abilities on their own, which is arguably good and bad. It means you won't have your squadmates using their special abilities at stupid times and thus forcing a cooldown, but it also means if you slack off on the micro-management they aren't really helping. I like that you can queue up commands, so for flanking bonus you can tell them to cloak, go behind enemy and snipe. Then it's hands off, they will go do those three things.
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    32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 20, 2013
    Platform for Display: PC
    The Bureau follows just after the founding of XCOM, with supporters wanting to use the agency to fight the commies and others trying to turn attention to the mysterious Outsiders. Agent Carter is tasked by the director of the Bureau to deliver a briefcase with and artifact to the Bureaus HQ. Along the way, he is attacked by an infected Air Force lieutenant, and when he recovers, the artifact is gone, and Earth is under attack.

    Thus you are dropped into XCOM: The Bureau(I really think the title works better that way), a rather fast-paced intro followed by a well put together plot of the more insidious alien invasion that preambles Enemy Unknown.

    Graphics are well detailed, and the battle overlay is very well done. Colors fade out but enemies are highlgihted brightly, and it creates a kind of tunnel vision. You can't just pause and plot your moves: you have to be aware of the environment and know what orders to give rather than just waffle about, because you could lose track of that piece of cover you wanted to move to when its all muted grays. And the battle plan doesn't fully pause, so you can't just rely on it to give you oodles of spare time to make a plan. And Carter actually calls the orders, a nice touch given the normal system is just understood to be telepathy. Backgrounds are rich and varied, and you feel like you're traveling through an underground government bunker or a high school without feeling like its a series of cookie cut and pasted rooms.

    Audio is great, and a huge improvement in my mind over Enemy Unknown to have more than just a handful of voiced characters. Not to give away plot points, but you definitely pay more attention to what people say since theres a chance they may be sleeper agents.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Goor00 on October 9, 2013
    Platform for Display: PC Download Verified Purchase
    XCOM is a strategy game. Always has been. But here comes the Bureau and all of a sudden, you get to actually be on the team, lead the team, be in the 60's with makeshift sci-fi gear and fight a desperate battle for mankind's survival. Wow... so it's NOT your usual XCOM game. It IS set in the same universe and you do have quite a vast amount of tactical options in the field making this game quite an interesting hybrid. And honestly, a rather well executed one.

    I do not believe that this game is to be considered as just another FPS. It is definitely a game apart from the mass. The battles are rather fierce and playing on harder difficulties is a worthwhile challenge. The storyline is not the most original, but on the other hand, which game delivers such a thing nowadays? Crysis 3? Dead Space? It's all been pretty chewed up by now and it's rather tough to come up with something truly innovative. Plus, you have to take into account that the game is kinda-sorta an extension, or rather an insight on how XCOM came to be. So it should be easy to forgive the soapy plot. A big thumbs up to the cast who voiced the characters, they've done a really good job.

    Graphics are really neat and you can tell the Unreal Engine has been pushed, maybe a little too much as on rare occasions, the framerate drops considerably for some unknown reasons (reflections? Cloth simulation? Couldn't really pin point the issue). There are other oddities sometimes (clipping, collision, aso) but really nothing which would really hurt the gameplay.

    Overall, The Bureau is a very enjoyable game, with lots of possibilities to explore (tacticians get ready to sweat) and a rather beautiful environment to immerse into.
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